AuthorTopic: The Yazidi  (Read 1260 times)

Online Surly1

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The Yazidi
« on: August 09, 2014, 05:38:28 AM »
Employing the awesome powers entrusted to me, I've actually started a new topic, as you will see, entitled "history."

 We'll start this off with an article about a group you never heard of, but now much in the news, the Yazidi.  This crossposted from a site that returns hours of enjoyment, if you're bent like me, The Daily Medieval.

The Yazidi

The Peacock Angel, Melek Taus

The news is full of the tragedy of the Yazidi, trapped on a mountain to which they fled from the group ISIS. In an area of the world where religious differences make enemies, the Yazidi find themselves isolated from almost everyone else because of their unique blend of different religions.

The origin of the name of the group itself underscores some of the issues in the area. Linguists think it derives from Yezd, an ancient Persian word for "Supreme Being," or yazata, Iranian for "divine being." The usual story, however, is that they call themselves after the Umayyad Caliph Yazid I (also known as Yazīd ibn Mu‘āwiya; 647 - 683). An argument for this origin is made in an 1852 book* whose author describes their confessed desire to avoid persecution by Muslims:
The origin of the name of "Yezeedee," by which they are more commonly known, is referred by some among them to Yezeed ibn Moawiyah, but this is only a stratagem to secure their toleration by the Mohammedans. For a like purpose [...]. The quotation from the Koran near the tomb was also admitted by several Kawwâls to have been introduced as a blind, and in order to prevent the Moslems from desecrating; their sacred shrine.
It appears that they have tried to fly "under the radar" of Muslims for a long time.

Another origin is that they were founded by Yezid ibn Unaisa, a member of a subject of Islam. Or they were started by a Sufi leader known as Sheik Adi bin Musafir who died in 1162.

The Yazidi believe in one god who created the world and left it to the care of seven angels. The most important of these is the angel Melek Taus, the "Peacock Angel." Sheik Adi was supposed to be a representative of Melek Taus on earth. Melek Taus was created before the other angels, and told by God never to bow to anyone else. Melek Taus, however, upon encountering Man, recognized his greatness and bowed to him. As the "best and brightest" of the angels who went against God's decree, Melek Taus has been equated by Muslims with Satan/Lucifer, and for that reason alone the Yazidi would find themselves a target for Muslim persecution.

Yazidi beliefs show similarities to Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Islam and Gnosticism. They believe they are descended from Adam, but not from Eve; rather, through Adam's son Shehid bin Jer.** They do not believe in Original Sin, but that humans possess both good and evil, and have the opportunity to choose; just as Melek Taus chose good by bowing to Man.

They have restrictions and taboos that govern castes (marrying outside your caste is a capital offense), food, and the need to live in a Yazidi community rather than with outsiders. They also believe that souls can reincarnate when needed, using the metaphor of changing a dirty garment for a clean one. Moreover, they believe that the seven angels are capable of incarnating in human form when needed (just as they believe Sheik Adi was Melek Taus). They pray five times a day.

As of this writing (8 August 2014), the majority of Yazidi have fled Muslim persecution by trying to take a mountain route on foot to reach Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. Humanitarian aid has been announced, as well as airstrikes against the pursuing ISIS army.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline knarf

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Re: The Yazidi
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2014, 09:22:01 AM »
Great article Surly!! I found this article about the same might be a little different but it really tells of their plight.

Who are the Yazidi, trapped and starving in the mountains in Iraq?

This image made from video taken on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014 shows Iraqis people from the Yazidi community arriving in Irbil in northern Iraq after Islamic militants attacked the towns of Sinjar and Zunmar. (AP Photo via AP video)

Josh Elliott,
Published Friday, August 8, 2014 1:15PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 8, 2014 2:54PM EDT
Sunni militants from the Islamic State (ISIS) have driven a little-known, mysterious religious group called the Yazidi into the mountains of northwestern Iraq.
Their persecution of the Yazidi has been part of a larger, ongoing effort to drive all non-Sunni Muslims out of ISIS-held territory, but the plight of the Yazidi has drawn international attention. A large number of Yazidis are now stranded and starving on a mountainside in Iraq, surrounded by ISIS forces and on the verge of death.
Here's what we know about them.

Who are they?
The Yazidi are a Kurdish ethno-religious group who follow an ancient religion related to Zoroastrianism. Population estimates vary widely, but the vast majority of Yazidis (estimated to be about half a million people) live in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, in the Kurdish territory near Iraq's borders with Syria and Turkey. There are fewer than 1 million Yazidis worldwide. The Yazidi share the same language as the more populous Kurds, but they are a distinct minority in the region.
What are their beliefs?
While the Yazidi religion has ties to Zoroastrianism, it also has roots in other faiths, including Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism. Yazidis believe in a creator god who made seven angels to protect the world. The chief among those angels rebelled against the creator and was imprisoned in a hellish world for his crimes. Eventually, the fallen angel repented his sins and returned to the creator's good graces as protector of the world.
This "fallen angel" narrative has made the Yazidi targets of religious persecution, as it bears many similarities to the story of the fallen (and unredeemed) angel Satan in Christian and Islamic faiths. One of the religion's lesser-used names for their chief angel is "Shaytan," the word for Satan in the Koran. Yazidis have been accused of devil worship as a result.
Yazidis do not accept new converts and only marry within their religion. They value the Bible and the Koran, but much of their religion is steeped in oral tradition.
Why are they trapped in the mountains?
Sunni religious extremists have seized large portions of Iraqi territory and offered all non-Muslims in that area a choice: convert to Islam, pay a religious fine, run away, or die.
Many Yazidis fleeing this religious persecution have left the ISIS-controlled city of Mosul and gone west to Sinjar, a spiritually significant town on Sinjar Mountain. ISIS militants attacked the town over the weekend and drove tens of thousands of Yazidis into the unforgiving mountain wilderness. The Yazidi have been hiding from ISIS for days, without food or water, while ISIS troops surround them and attempt to starve them to death.
Other Yazidis have taken refuge in villages safe from ISIS control.

A Yazidi man an his donkey walk along a road on Mount Sinjar, 404 kilometers northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 19, 2005. (AP / Jacob Silberberg)

Yazidis flee Islamic State troops in Iraq in this still photo from August, 2014.

What is the rest of the world doing?
U.S. relief forces air-dropped supplies to the stranded Yazidis on Friday, and dropped bombs on ISIS forces attacking the Kurdish city of Irbil. Some Yazidis have reportedly taken refuge in Irbil.
Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird said Friday that Canada supports the U.S. operation in Iraq.
"Canada continues to condemn the repugnant killing of innocent civilians, including women and children, from Christian, Yazidi, and other religious and minority communities," Baird said in a statement issued Friday. "Canada supports all efforts, including United States supply drops and airstrikes, to protect civilians from ISIS terrorists."
Baird also voiced his support for the Iraqi government, but urged the country's leaders to put aside religious differences and resolve the ISIS threat.
He said Canada has not been asked to provide military assistance in the conflict. "Canadian officials, including Canada's ambassador to Iraq, who is based in Jordan, will be working to determine how best to support the Iraqi people with the current security and humanitarian challenges."
Where is this happening?
The Yazidis are under attack in the ISIS-controlled parts of Kurdistan, a region in northwestern Iraq.

found at:

Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline RE

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Re: The Yazidi
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2014, 03:37:56 PM »
This is an interesting problem.

The ISIS mechanized forces can't follow the Yazidis into the mountains, and it would be foolish to try.  They'll eventually starve up there without constant air drops of food.

Ground level Water availability also is a question mark in those mountains.  It is unlikely the Yazidis have any equipment to dig wells of any depth.

So the survival of the Yazidis depends on how long the Air Drops will continue and the attempt to weaken the ISIS forces by bombing all their heavy equipment.  However, destruction of all their tanks and APCs doesn't kill most of the ISIS troops, they will abandon the equipment and hang out in the cities with just their rifles, rpgs and shoulder fired missiles.  The Yazidis still can't return to the cities, though they might be able to return to the towns they inhabited if they also are air dropped rifles, rpgs and shoulder fired missiles.  Otherwise, squads of ISIS SWAT teams will be sent out on foot to kill them there.

The best way obviously to limit the amount of death dealing that can be done would be to eliminate any movement of weapons across the borders, but that is pretty much impossible to do.  ISIS is always capturing new weapons from the various puppet regimes they overrun with their numbers.  So to save the Yazidis you have to supply them with relatively equal weaponry and ammo all the time.  You have to do that all with Air Drops, since they are completely surrounded by ISIS forces.

Fairly obviously, the Yazidis are done for once the Air Drops stop, unless of course there is a mass invasion of Boots on the Ground of NATO "Peacekeepers".  At the moment, it seems unlikely NATO could muster up a large enough force of PKs to do that.  Hell, they can't muster up a force big enough to PK in Baghdad.

Let this be a lesson to you.  You don't want to be a member of a minority population in a given neighborhood once the local resources/money runs thin.  They are the first to go.  After the majority wipes them out, if the resources are still too thin to support their numbers, they break up into factions and continue knocking each other off until the resources are once again sufficient for whoever is left.

Save As Many As You Can